Page 66

STEPHEN BACON scrambled back across the damp wooden bench. The creature that resembled Jim paused at the edge of the rocks, peering with confusion at the departing boat. Its bloated tongue poked through the grimace of a mouth. “Good God, Donald.” Thomas gripped his arm. As the beam coursed around the bay, it illuminated the leprous-looking gore of the creature’s neck, now glistening in the light. Beneath the surface of the water a muscular tentacle flexed, stretching between their boat and the landing rocks. A row of circular suckers was visible along the length, and Thomas watched in horror before it drifted deeper out of sight. “What in the name of –“ A sudden feeling of desolation smothered Thomas. He turned abruptly, the words trapped in his throat. Donald’s oilskin hood had fallen back slightly, gathered around the nape of his neck, revealing the side of his face. There was something inhuman about the way he peered directly ahead. “Don?” Thomas edged backwards. The oarsman continued to pull them through the water as the boat rose and fell on the waves. Ahead, the hulking shape of the relief boat loomed into view, the sails fluttering in the wind. Thomas threw a final glance back to Flannan Isle, shuddering in relief as he realised this would be his final view of the Godforsaken place. He was suddenly aware of countless figures standing on the bows of the ship, watching their approach. As they drew close he could see them clearly. Their skin was bloated and festering from the effects of the sea. A powerful stench of rotting flesh invaded the air. Blood trickled from their noses, rolled down their cheeks like tears. Thomas yanked hold of the oarsman, pulling him off the seat. The grotesque blisters of his face were revealed. One milky eye rolled listlessly in its socket. Maggots wriggled beneath the bloated skin of his forehead. Struggling to breathe, Thomas cast a glance back up to the watching figures on the ship. There were dozens of men, some wearing military uniform, some dressed as fishermen, all of them watching his approach with great interest. They all shared the same hungry stare. Copyright © Stephen Bacon 2008

- 64 -

Estronomicon Christmas 2008  

The eZine of fantasy, sci-fi and horror

Estronomicon Christmas 2008  

The eZine of fantasy, sci-fi and horror

Advertisement